By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus
In every labour complaint, there are security personnel who either did not get paid for some months or half their salary is deducted to pay for a uniform, or are transported on an open bakkie in winter.
The concerns have reached an alarming rate to the point that the labour and employment creation ministry sounded the alarm on the non-compliance of the security companies.
In a press release this week, the labour minister Utoni Nujoma raised concerns to the Security Association of Namibia regarding the continuous contravening of the relevant labour provisions of the country.
Moreover, the security employers are also breaking the Collective Agreement for Minimum Wage in the Security Industry.
Regarding wage issues that rocked the industry, it has been observed that the security firms have even developed a new strategy to avoid paying senior employers their agreed rates.
According to the labour ministry, some security companies have devised a strategy to disadvantage their senior employees by “getting rid of them for no apparent reasons and recruiting new ones who are paid at lower rates in relation to Collective Agreements”.
According to the Collective Agreement in the security industry, the security officers are supposed to, at the entry level, have a minimum wage at the rate of N$8.75 per hour, while those that have been in employment at the same employer are entitled to a rate of N$10.00 per hour.
The ministry has also indicated that all the complaints they receive from the sector employees have to do with remuneration.
The records and issues attended to by the ministry from the sector show that employers are not paying severance pay, dismissing their employees unfairly, not paying their employees’ agreed salaries on time and sometimes, not at all.
Moreover, the outlaw employers are also making unlawful deductions on their workers’ salaries, lowering them unnecessarily.
The ministry has also undertaken some workplace inspections for 182 security companies, and 34 per cent of these companies were not compliant with the basic conditions of employment that do not deserve compromise.
Security companies from the south were the biggest culprits (Mariental, Keetmanshoop, Karasburg, Nooordower, Rosh Pinah, Orangemund and Ludwritz), with 73 per cent of them breaking the basic employment conditions.
Meanwhile, central region companies (Windhoek, Okahandja, Gobabis and others) were 90 per cent complaints with basic employment conditions.
In his response, the Security Association of Namibia president Hans Miljo expressed concerns about the absence of a regulatory framework in the industry, which needs to be finalised to enhance compliance in the sector.
“Most of the employers in the security industry operate from nowhere, and in most cases, they disappear in thin air, leaving the workers not knowing what to do,” explained Miljo.
He appealed to the ministry of home affairs and safety to finalise the promulgation of the regulations.